From an exhaustive literature review on the subject of Neighborhood and Urban Improvement (MBU, by the Spanish acronym), a critical overview of the situational outlook of this model of community intervention in Costa Rica is presented below. A collection of information was carried out from secondary documentary sources internationally on issues of Neighborhood and Urban Improvement programs (MBU) and participatory intervention methods for the use of public spaces in urban areas. After establishing and evaluating the criteria for inclusion and exclusion, six of all the scientific publications recovered related to these topics were selected and subjected to critical analysis separately and altogether, for which a qualitative input data matrix was used. The findings serve as a precedent to infer that the Environmental Health is the best indicator of the livability of human settlements and, considering that the health benefits of implementing Neighborhood and Urban Improvement processes in Costa Rica are yet to be evaluated, it is a challenge and an opportunity for the discipline to get involved in a comprehensive approach to this process in the country to contribute to the social and participatory reconstruction of community health.

Keywords: Neighborhood and Urban Improvement (MBU), environmental health, community health, community participation, human settlements, public space, habitability